Here is your October guide to the latest trends impacting the world of work. Every month, we provide perspective on the biggest news affecting the industry and explain what to expect as new trends continue to emerge.
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Skills-Focus Paramount in Attracting Tech Talent
Tech talent is hard to acquire and hard to retain in a competitive job market. McKinsey points out that tech workers are fleeing startup and software roles for traditional organizations.
“More than 80% of laid-off tech workers find new jobs within three months,” McKinsey analysis notes. The company looked at ways to close the gap between tech firms and traditional firms in this environment, making a case for the value of an end-to-end solution.
In this case, “end-to-end” refers to the full employee journey, from sourcing through support and growth.
On sourcing talent, McKinsey has advice for traditional firms on how to market jobs to tech talent:
“HR and technology leaders should emphasize skills, rather than pedigree, when trying to fill critical technology roles. They should take time to understand which roles create the most value for the organization and then target the skills required for those roles.”
Industry Insider’s GovTech concurs with this approach, suggesting “Traditional hiring signals, such as years of experience, have proven to be flawed predictors of job performance.” A skills-centered focus goes far beyond the job description, though, encompassing ways to nurture growth through learning and creating an inclusive environment through accessible workplaces.
LinkedIn has contributed to the skills-first conversation as well, issuing a comprehensive report on the value of a skills-first approach. It’s a good read: LinkedIn’s comprehensive report on the value of a skills-based approach.
Forget About Big Brother, Big Performance Management AI May be Watching
Gizmodo reports that in addition to helping source talent by reviewing your application, once you get the job, AI may still be standing over your shoulder. New AI tools for employers assess employees based on “performance ratings, supervisor’s feedback, professional development activity – or lack thereof.”
What are these new-fangled, nefarious AI-enabled workplace bean-counters called? Some familiar tools top the list: Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft SharePoint include workplace analytics tools that help employers rate and assess employee performance.
This expands on an existing trend, heightened by the newly widespread availability of AI tools. The New York Times reported in August of 2022 on Workplace tracking tools, including Enaible, WorkSmart, and Monitask.
By the time you get to the interview, your next employer will likely have data points indicating whether you’re a potential high-performance employee. Or they might be using one of these seven top performance management tools to know exactly what you’re up to right now.
How Retail Employers Can Combat Attrition
Even in the best of times, retailers face an attrition rate of 60%. That alone is a huge challenge, but a combination of the global pandemic and high inflation rates changed the equation for employers. Not only are frontline retail workers quitting at high rates, but their managers are as well.
We are seeing a confluence of many factors contributing to high attrition rates in retail. Overall, there’s a lot NOT to love about many retail positions. The cost-of-living crisis in the UK, for example, is a culprit in the rise in reported abusive shoppers and theft in UK retail. A recent US News and World Report study ranked retail jobs as the “worst job in the US,” citing factors such as low growth potential, poor work-life balance, and dismal salary (around $30k / year in the US, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics).
McKinsey has added some detail to the retail-pocalypse discourse. Their survey of more than 1,000 frontline workers uncovered the top motivators for retail employees to leave their jobs:
- Workplace flexibility – unpredictable schedules, inflexible start times, lack of schedule control.
- Career development – inadequate career growth opportunities, little emphasis on knowledge of skills.
- Health and wellbeing – lack of good role models, inability to focus on meaningful pursuits.
- Compensation – uncompetitive compensation, under-pay, inadequate benefits.
What can employers do?
This environment has made it even more important for employers to consider workers’ wants and needs and to make difficult decisions about the value of the ways that their workplaces are managed vs the cost of attrition. Four key steps that employers can take:
- Understand the motivations of frontline retail workforce – deploy survey tools to gauge workforce sentiment.
- Move toward innovative workplace management solutions that offer flexibility.
- Simplify the role and encourage engagement – eliminate boredom, and focus on technology that helps retail employees feel a greater connection to the business.
- Finally, invest in building strong managers. Retail managers are indeed the glue that holds the retail workforce together; it’s more important than ever they feel valued.
Read the full report highlighting McKinsey’s recommendations for retailers to combat attrition here.
- The Scoop: Recruitment Trends & Industry Insights | October 2023 - October 31, 2023
- The Scoop: Recruitment Trends & Industry Insights | August 2023 - August 29, 2023
- April 2023 Global Labor Market Update - April 20, 2023
- March 2023 Global Labor Market Update - March 23, 2023
- February 2023 US Labor Market Update - February 23, 2023
- January 2023 Global Labor Market Update - January 19, 2023
- December 2022 Global Labor Market Update - December 22, 2022
- November 2022 U.S. Labor Market Update - November 17, 2022
- October 2022 Labor Market Update - October 20, 2022
- These Are the Best HR Recruitment Methods - October 12, 2022